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Runciman, Walter (1870-1949), 1st Viscount Runciman of Doxford, politician
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Papers of Erskine Childers

  • CHIL
  • Fonds
  • 1880–1922

The papers consist of correspondence, printed material, writings, personal papers, and photographs documenting the English life of Erskine Childers. The correspondence includes incoming letters to Erskine and to Molly Childers, copies of letters sent by Erskine, and a large number of letters written to others from others.

There are over 75 letters from Erskine to Molly dated 1903-1913; Erskine's other principal correspondents include Ian Hamilton, Field Marshal Frederick Roberts, and Basil Williams. Molly's principal correspondents include Benoît-Constant Coquelin, Kate Courtney, and John Singer Sargent. The collection includes letters from a variety of other correspondents, among them Edward Arnold, Julian Corbett, Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, William James, Lord Kitchener, J. Ellis McTaggart, Walter Runciman, George Bernard Shaw (to Emily Ford), and G. M. Trevelyan.

Printed material includes cuttings of reviews for 'The H.A.C. in South Africa', 'The Times History of the war in South Africa', 'War and the Arme Blanche', 'The Riddle of the Sands', and 'The German Influence on British Cavalry'; cuttings of articles on cruising printed in 'The Times' from 1907-1913; as well as two issues of 'Poblacht na hÉireann' from 21, 23 October, 1922.

The collection also includes a holograph poem apiece by Bronson Alcott and William Ellery Channing, photographs of Benoît-Constant Coquelin, and a signed photograph of Sarah Bernhardt.

Childers, Robert Erskine (1870–1922), author and politician

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Was judging at the Exhibition on Saturday; 'Sunday we went to Church!'; Sir George read his chapter to her for two hours on Monday. Elinor Middleton, Kenneth Swan and 'M. Burnett' have been staying with them; tomorrow it is the tenants' party. Sir George was very pleased to have Julian's photograph; intends to come to see him in the autumn. Theo and Humphry have had measles and are recovering; Mary shows no sign of it; the children's visit may be delayed a little but George comes on the 31st. The [Henry Yates] Thompsons visit soon. Pleased to have good news of Julian; would like to see a photograph of him in the donkey cart. Hopes they are enjoying Mr [Donald] Tovey's visit and that he is better.

Continues the letter after having been interrupted by Mary and her guests Mr and Mrs Runciman, then 'the children with the poney [sic]'; Pauline is 'beginning to ride nicely'. Has read Rosalind Murray's "The Leading Note", which is 'nice and simple, but a girl of that age does not know enough to write a novel'. Hopes Robert is enjoying having 'Ariadne clothed and adorned [by Tovey's composition of the score of "The bride of Dionysus"].

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Thanks for news of Julian; he is bound to be homesick sometimes, but she thinks he will enjoy school; it is worse for Elizabeth, so is glad she is 'having a change' with a friend. The Runcimans came for the day yesterday; it rained but they talked all day. Asks if she may keep the photograph, and what news Elizabeth has had [of Robert?]. The garden is in a 'deplorable state' because of wind and rain; Keith has gone on a well-earned holiday and only has one man and a boy now. Nora [Trevelyan] is still here; Caroline worries about her catching a chill. Julian's letter was very good. Hopes Miss Barthorp [his old governess] will be happy.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Is not writing much now, but must reply to Robert's letter [46/307]; drove as far as the garden yesterday, and saw Whitley and the carriage for the first time in a month; has felt well enough this last week to return to his Greek, and has been reading in the last book of Thucydides of what Jackson calls the 'Whig Revolution' at Athens, though 'Antiphon and his myrmidons were a queer sort of Whigs'; does not know how anyone can doubt this book is by Thucydides. George has just left to visit the Walter] Runcimans, and Janet for the funeral of 'Aunt Fanny', the 'last survivor of Doctor Arnold's family'. Very interested to hear what Robert is reading with Julian; looks forward to hearing about [Diogenes] Laertius and Athenaeus.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Hodgkin

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Will expect Edward on Monday; does not know whether he will make it to the station. Can supply a gun. Yesterday 'the Runcible one' [Walter Runciman?] shot eight ducks on one pond and he himself four at another; the other three had an average of two or three. They are going to 'play [rugby] footer this afternoon, to our hurt and undoing'; their opponents, from Capheaton, are 'said to be all very terrible devils'. He has therefore eaten 'the larger moiety of a great yellow treacle pudding to add to my weight, and put courage into my heart'; hopes his pudding will not 'gush out' under a blow as in a quote from Rabelais ["Gargantua and Pantagruel"].

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Thanks Robert for having taken so much trouble; wanted to show George Russell that he had looked into his question [about whether Macaulay was first to use 'tact' for a moral quality, see 12/273] properly, and has sent him Robert's letter. Encloses a cutting showing where Macaulay used 'cabful'; cannot yet identify the other quotation. [Walter] Runciman, his wife, and Edward Grey drove over yesterday for the day. Grey is 'tranquil and not unhappy in his retirement'; has had great trials, including the 'violent deaths of such a wife, and such a brother', his ill health, failing eyesight, and the destruction by fire of the house he loved; he is now 'most eager about books'

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Very wintry weather; they were 'almost snowed up for three days' and the station could only be reached across the fields. The Runcimans have been here since Saturday; they are 'very pleasant young people' and she thinks Elizabeth would like Hilda, who was at St. Andrews and Girton and 'is very energetic and intelligent'. There is a shoot today; Mr [William?] Watson-Armstrong has joined them. Expecting a party of Charles and George's friends after Christmas, and hope to have 'three cheerful days' before leaving for Welcombe.

Returns to the letter on the following day; does not have an address so will send this to Ravello. Glad to hear that Elizabeth has had 'plenty of music at Amsterdam'. Pleased that Elizabeth's uncle liked George's article ["The White Peril", in "The Nineteenth Century"]. George is 'rather distressed about it' and would have written it 'with much greater care' if he had known it would attract so much attention; she thinks though that it has been useful. Asks if Elizabeth's uncle will soon return home; supposes he will not go south but stay there quietly for the winter. Sir George has now read "Polyphem[us & Other Poems]" carefully and will soon write to Robert. Hopes they had a pleasant time with Mr [Bernard] Berenson; asks how 'the ménage' goes on. Sends regards to Madame Palumbo and Mrs Reid wants to hear all about the Pension now as they know it. Has been very busy with Christmas presents, but all have been sent now. They think 'L[ord] R[osebery]'s speech helpful to a Peace [to end the Second Boer War]'

Letter from Desmond MacCarthy to R. C. Trevelyan

Ampton Hall, Bury St. Edmunds. - Would like to spend a few days with Trevelyan before he leaves the country; [Walter?] Runciman will probably give him a lift. Has been promised an introduction to a 'red headed Pasha'. Is going to Euboea, then probably 'to stay with the Queen of Persia' [Irene Noel?]. Must stop writing, as his host [G.A. Paley] wants to take him out in his motor car. Has been looking again at "Polyphemus".

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Was tired after a busy day in London and a long journey home, but is rested morning. The shooting has gone well; three pheasants are being sent to Elizabeth and Robert today; Mrs [Hilda] Runciman came out shooting with her, and is staying with her husband here today. Sorry that Robert has to work indoors, but it will be good for him to acquire the habit if he can, as it will be harder for him to work outside in the damp as he gets older. Wonders whether [Thomas Sturge] Moore will publish soon, as he 'seems to have written several plays now'. There is a poem by [Laurence] Binyon in the 'new magazine'. Glad that [Alphonse] Grandmont and Elizabeth's aunt are 'progressing'; expects being in hospital with Madame Grandmont nearby will help her aunt. Asks for Madame Grandmont's address so that she can write. Is going next week to Welcombe, and will probably be in London from 19-21 November; would be good to see Elizabeth then as she will not go south till January. Elizabeth and Robert would be very welcome to spend Christmas with them, but expects they will have 'fled to the sun' before then. Wonders how Elizabeth will get on at [Margaret Price's house' Pen Moel. Would be very kind if Elizabeth could visit 'old Mrs Bostock', who is a 'kind old thing' though would bore her, and 'the daughter is not very charming'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Thanks his father for his letter [12/149] and for [William] Everett's, which he returns and which is 'very interesting and characteristic': Everett seems to have 'the sort of mind that might have made a very fine scholar'; supposes as it is he is 'quite a good one, but has not made that his chief business in life'.

Whistler's Gentle Art [of Making Enemies] is 'an odious book. Even in those cases where he is more or less in the right, he alienates one's sympathy'; expects that 'if one indulges in that kind of quarrelsomeness, it grows upon one like a vice'. Calls it 'a curious case' that Whistler should 'so often have behaved like a vulgar cad, and yet have had such great qualities as an artist, and sometimes, I think, as a man too'.

Gives an 1860 quotation in Murray's dictionary for 'requisition', but expects his father has by now decided on the right word. Supposes he will have received a copy of Robert's Sisyphus: An Operatic Fable by now: Aeschylus wrote a 'Satyric Drama' on the subject, but Robert does not expect it was 'much like' his own.

Bessie and Paul are both very well. The weather has been 'very foggy and unpleasant here lately'. The 'prospects of the Education Bill look bad', which is 'a great pity'; is also sorry for [Walter] Runciman and Charles's sake. Fears they [the Liberals] 'will be in a false position with regard to everything till we have fought and beaten the Lords': wishes the Lords 'would reject a Budget', but supposes 'that is hardly possible, even for them'. Sends love to his mother.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Glad to hear Julian is crawling now; will send a parcel for his birthday soon. Unlucky that Miss [Margaret?] V[aughan] Williams has caught measles; it can be bad in adults. Miss Martin came to Welcombe yesterday; they expect the Runcimans, Janet, and George on Saturday; think Charlie is also coming since he stayed at home with a cold last week. Thinks Elizabeth will like Mrs Walter Rea; glad she has 'such nice neighbours'. She and Sir George move to London on 22 Feb; she will go to the concert on the way from the station, and asks whether Elizabeth will be there. Asks how she liked 'the Spaniard' [Benvingut Socias i Mercadé, see 46/174]. Nice that Julian listens to music.

Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

18 Mansfield Street, Portland Place, W.—Is unable to dine with him and meet Runciman. She enjoyed her stay at Vinters.



18 Mansfield Street, Portland Place, W.
July 7th 1909

Dear Mr Montagu

Its most nice of you to ask me to dine to meet Mr Runciman. Alas! Alack! I am afraid I cant as I am already dining out that evening. Its very sad and I wish very much I could chuck the other. Thank you so much.

I liked Vinters very much too. I must write a Collins to Olive for it.

Yours sincerely
Venetia Stanley


Black-edged paper.